Egyptian antiquities workers have completed a year-long restoration project on the statue of Thutmose II, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced on Monday.
The 10.5-metre structure, the tallest of three statues of the pharaoh in Egypt, is one of the highlights of the famous Karnak Temple in Luxor, the second most visited archaeological site in the country after the Giza pyramids.
Restoration of the statue began in August last year and was due to be completed in January, but it has been delayed.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, on Monday expressed his pride at the completion of the project as it was carried out by an all-Egyptian team.
The statue, made entirely of quartzite rock, had been so badly damaged over the years that the pharaoh’s torso had completely detached from the main structure, so that visitors to the temple could see only a pair of legs of giant stones seated on a throne.
Abdel Hakim Al Badry, restoration director at Karnak, said the Thutmose II project began with a “mechanical cleaning” of the statue to remove dirt and traces of mud from various parts, some of which had fallen into place. .
Additionally, the disassembled parts of the statue were reconnected and secured, while the cracks in the structure were injected with various types of adhesive paste, Dr Al Badry explained.
Chemical cleaning was also required to remove traces of bird droppings from the statue.
The ministry said it followed internationally approved restoration protocols throughout the project.
Updated: August 22, 2022, 9:19 PM